Three East African nations move towards adoption of single tourism visa

Published on : Friday, November 22, 2013

kenya uganda and rwandaKenya, Uganda and Rwanda have formed a team of experts to thrash out pending issues as they move towards adoption of a single tourism visa.


The team, made up of officials from the three countries, has already studied the European Union (EU) single visa model to forestall any problem which may arise from the planned project.


Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Phyllis Kandie says that starting next year the three countries plan to create a single destination format for all major tourism trade fairs.


This idea was to have been implemented from July 2012 but has faced many teething problems with Tanzania opting out on security fears. However Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have vowed to forge ahead even with the absence of Tanzania and Burundi, the other members of the five-nation East African Community (EAC).


The three countries plan to roll out the single tourism visa from Jan 1, next year.


The East African Tourism Visa was first proposed about a decade ago, and requires tourists to pay 100 USD instead of 150 USD for three separate visas, meaning visitors to the three countries will each save 50 USD.


Kandie says the new visa has been modelled on the EU’s Schengen Visa, which allows visitors to any of the 26 EU member States to travel freely beyond their original EU destination.


She says talks are still ongoing to bring on board Tanzania and Burundi once they adhere to laid down rules. Kenya receives the highest number of tourists in the region followed by Tanzania.

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